During the Thimble Club’s January meeting President Shaaron Chambers brought up the subject of emergency kits. During her presentation, she discussed the kits and why they are important, even opening a couple of cans of freeze-dried foods for everyone to try.
Surprisingly, even without being rehydrated the yogurt bites and freeze-dried corn were delicious.
When I lived high up in the mountains, at about 6,000-feet in elevation, we always put up a stash of food, water and supplies. The fact that every winter it was possible for us to be snowed in, could lose power for long periods of time or have our access cut off by fire were yearly realities we prepared for. Here in Anza, we practice the same thing. The problem we found is that the heat would compromise the quality of canned foods quickly. After tasting the freeze-dried cans Chambers shared, I would recommend that is the way to go for emergency kit foods since they were not compromised by the heat.
Another preparation that needs to be made is to ensure you have a way to pump or store water, have money on hand and know who you can borrow items from, should you need to do so. The suggestion was to have enough money to pay one month’s bills. If the electric is off, so are the ATM machines and gas pumps. Think ahead about how to solve these problems and make sure you have that on hand. Plan ahead for you pets as well. If the crisis lasts for any length of time, some survivalists suggest to get survival heirloom seed packs, learn to can and preserve your own food and in general learn how to live off the land as our forefathers did. You can find plenty of information online on these and other things.
Chambers also spoke about a list of things you should have on hand in a “Grab and Go” kit. She mentioned not to forget your pets or those who have special needs. Complete lists can be found online at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at www.Ready.gov, and a plethora of other sites.
Cal Tech’s Earthquake site also offers their suggestions for emergency preparedness and survival kits.
An emergency preparedness kit needs to include food and water for each member of your family for three days, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, spare batteries, first-aid kit, can opener, local maps, moist towelettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
Other items to consider include sleeping bags or blankets, paper towels, books, puzzles and games for children and pet food for family pets.
It is suggested to have a “Grab ‘n Go Bag” for each person in the house and attach it to the bed.
For adult’s have a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries and light sticks, portable radio and batteries, keys to both the house and car, money in the form of coins and bills, glasses, contact lenses and solutions, at least a one week supply of medications, comfortable shoes, two pairs of socks, comfortable clothing such as sweats and extra underwear, a jacket, cap or hat, a whistle tocall for help if trapped, sunscreen, a pocket knife, a watch or clock, paper and pencil, “OK” and “Help” signs, an emergency phone list with out-of-state contact numbers, lists of people to notify if you are injured and copies of important documents: insurance, identification, Social Security, etc. as well as toiletry articles such as comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, razor, washcloth, face towel, shampoo, lotion, lip balm, emery board, nail clipper, sanitary products, tissue, etc.
Other suggestions include Zip-lock bags, plastic grocery bags, a good book, playing cards, crossword puzzles, work gloves, several pairs of latex gloves, a lightweight blanket, plastic ground cloth, an emergency tent, hard hat, two dust masks, a hammer and folding shovel, a crow bar, rope, snacks such as granola bars, trail mix and peanut butter and at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day.
If you are a senior or disabled, in addition to a “Grab and Go” kit, be sure to include food for special diet needs, batteries for hearing aids, wheelchair, etc., list of model and serial number of medical devices, special supplies like oxygen, catheters, etc., a current prescription for eyeglasses and personal sanitary items such as protective undergarments, disposable bags, ties, wipes.
For infants and toddlers, additional items will be needed for the “Grab and Go” kit including, formula, disposable bottles, nipples, diapers and wipes, instant baby cereal, bowl and spoon, at least two changes of clothes, a light jacket, thermometer, medicine dropper and medications, Pedialyte or another electrolyte replacement solution, firm soled shoes, sunscreen, toys, books, stuffed animals and an authorization to consent to treatment of a minor form.
For pets or service animals, keep a pet Grab ‘n Go Bag in an easily accessible location near your own emergency supplies and include food, water, bowls, leash, muzzle, poop scooper and bags, treats, toys, an extra name tag, dog license number, pet carrier or crate for each pet, name, address and phone number of veterinarian, a list of people who can help take care of the animal if needed and vaccination and medical records and a pet first-aid kit.
Office and car emergency kits are also suggested and a full, printable checklist for these, as well as the aforementioned kits can be found online by visiting ready.gov or www.safety.caltech.edu/documents/49-grabngo_emergency_kit.pdf.